House to probe TSA's fake criminal investigators

A House subcommittee will meet next week to scrutinize the Transportation Security Administration's dozens of "criminal investigators," which the Department of Homeland Security's own inspector general says are overpaid and are generally not conducting criminal investigations.

The House Homeland Security subcommittee on Transportation Security will meet Tuesday afternoon to examine "TSA's Cadre of Criminal Investigators."

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The hearing comes several months after the IG issued a report saying the TSA is on track to waste $17.5 million over five years on 124 criminal investigators. That September report said the agency essentially promoted these employees, who are now doing regular work that other lower-paid employees can do.

"The office employed personnel classified as 'criminal investigators,' even though their primary duties may not have been criminal investigations as required by Federal law and regulations," the report said. "These employees received premium pay and other costly benefits, although other employees were able to perform the same work at a lower cost."

The report added that instead of investigating criminal cases, "the majority of the criminal investigators' workload consisted of noncriminal cases; monitoring and reporting on criminal cases; and carrying out inspections, covert testing, and internal reviews."

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), who chairs the subcommittee, told The Washington Times last year that the needless promotions at the TSA were "yet another example of the ills of big-government bureaucracy."

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) added that it is "unacceptable" for the TSA to misuse its resources at a time of fiscal restraint.